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Sea Kayaking – Skye

Isle Of Skye, Scotland.

January 2001

I have sea kayaked in several countries around the world. In some of these countries it has been a case of hiring the kayaks, (not always sea kayaks), and heading off in whatever direction we fancied. For proficient kayakers that may sound great, but for the novice, a guided tour could be a better option.

Below are two companies, I have used, who offer guided sea kayak tours. They also offer extra kayak training if it is required. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a waterproof camera with us, so there are no photographs. Sorry!

My experiences may not fall under the “extreme sports” heading, but they certainly do count as “adventure sports”.

Isle Of Skye, Scotland.

On Skye, there is an outdoor centre called White Wave. They are the people I first had a go at sea kayaking with. The centre is located in a large white house, a couple of miles outside Uig. Accommodation is available and there is a small cafe. Most, if not all, of the food there is home-made and even if you are not into the great outdoors, the home-made soup and bread is a must!!

The sea kayaking I did with White Wave, started down at the harbour in Uig, with the usual safety and skill checks. Uig harbour is used as one of the main car ferry ports on the Isle Of Skye, so can be busy at times. From here, we headed out to sea, tracing the coastline.

Around this area of Skye, the coastline is very dramatic. There are steep rocky cliffs, with caves and stoney beaches dotted along them. We were taken through a couple of these caves. They were very small, so instead of paddling, we shuffled through by hand. After this, we stopped for lunch on one of the beaches. At this point, some of us went for a swim. We were very lucky with the weather that day. The sun was shining, so getting wet was a great way to cool down.

After lunch, we paddled back to Uig for some more fun and games. This included jumping off the pier into the harbour.

All in all, this was a great day out!

Isle Of North Uist, Outer Hebrides, Scotland.

The Uist Outdoor Centre is located at Loch Maddy on North Uist. As the name suggests, sea kayaking is not the only thing on offer. They have accommodation and a kitchen for self-catering, and there is a pub/hotel within walking distance of the centre.

The sea kayaking session started with the usual safety checks and kit handout. Once everyone was ready to hit the water, we took our kayaks down to the loch and carried out a few basic maneouvres. This was done so that the instructor/guide knew what level of skill everyone was at.

Once this was done, we paddled off across the loch and down the river towards the sea. The wind was behind us, so this was an easy paddle. There was a slight ripple on the river, but this was about to change. As we neared the sea, the slight ripple had turned into small waves.

We were then taken on a tour around the coastline of the Loch Maddy harbour and surrounding area. There are lots of small islands and hidden inlets along this coastline, which makes for some great exploring in the kayaks. On a good day, you can see some of the local wildlife. This includes seals and bird-life. You also get to see the hills off in the ditance. Unfortunately, on the day we went out, the sky was grey, the clouds were low and there were the odd rain showers. As we had all the gear on, the rain didn’t matter. In fact, I think it gave a bit of a mystical feel to it all.

After being out for a couple of hours or so, it was time to head back to the centre. The wind was against us as we headed back up the river, so the paddle was a little bit tougher. Well, it stopped us getting cold.

If you find yourself up on the Uists, pop in and check the centre out!


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